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Rising Stars: Meet Jennifer Chang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Chang.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was never a very “artsy” or “creative” person – I went to college for a bachelor’s in Materials Science & Engineering and loved my job as an Engineer for a large CPG in the Twin Cities! I once responded to an ad from an agency looking for “models” for a hair color/cut job and it proliferated from there. I modeled for a while (even though I never got that first hair gig) with a few agencies. In the beginning, I volunteered my time for shoots in exchange for images so that I could build my portfolio.

During this time, I felt like it was hard to find makeup artists that were experts in working with Asian features, so I decided to get better at makeup on my own! After countless hours spent on YouTube, I was starting to get the hang of it, and had a friend encourage me to start my own channel. Nowadays modeling has taken a backseat as I tend to spend all my spare time outside of work playing with makeup and filming content! I love trying new products and being the “go-to” when my friends need recommendations. Building a community on social media hasn’t been easy but I’ve met so many amazing people who both do and do not create content themselves, and I’ve even traveled to a few different states visiting them!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I think everyone who’s tried content creating knows it’s not an easy gig! The market seems to be so saturated, especially in the beauty space, and sometimes I wonder why I stand out or why someone would follow me. Algorithms on social media websites can be quite confusing and frustrating – sometimes I spend hours on a look that I’m proud of, only to receive less-than-average number of likes or interactions. I think a big part of the growth journey is learning to hold yourself to your own standards and happiness rather than seek it through approval of followers. This to me started as a hobby and I keep having to remind myself that since I’m lucky enough to have a full-time job I love outside of content creating, I should not let little things stress me out, and if I ever feel like I’m not having fun anymore, I should take a break!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Somehow I’ve managed to turn a small profit the last couple years, so I guess you can count me as a “professional” creative now! I pride myself in offering genuine and authentic content – I don’t put filters over my videos or photos (except to fix wonky lighting) and even if I’m paid to review something, I’ll be honest if I don’t like it! In addition to reviews, I also create a variety of makeup tutorials from simple, easy every day makeup to more elaborate avant garde or creative face paint makeup. Some people might say I need to niche down, but I really enjoy creating a wide range of art so I’m going to stay true to myself and create whatever content inspires me at the time! As an Asian there is so much cultural pressure to do something technical or becoming a profession that earns a lot of money, but there is a lot of value in the creative arts whether you pursue it as a hobby or as a profession! And for those that can’t decide, like me, I like to show that it is possible to do BOTH! It’s amazing to look back at the past several years and see all the campaigns I’ve been a part of and brands I’ve gotten to work with!

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
The community in the Minnesota Twin Cities is pretty small and tight knit – and all the beauty and fashion creators have been so friendly and helpful! I’ve had them refer me to campaigns and I try to return the favor, because we can all grow together. It might be awkward but just send someone a DM and reach out to say hi! Try looking for blogger groups or gatherings to join, too, and don’t be afraid to show up by yourself!

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